HBO Max, which launches in Spain later this year, has commissioned Unicorn Content to produce a new six-part, true crime docu-series ahead of the occasion, “Dolores: The Truth About the Wanninkhof Case.”
Originally convicted of murdering her former partner’s daughter, Dolores Vázquez, or Loli to her friends, turned out to be the victim of one of the highest profile Spanish legal disasters in recent history.
In the autumn of 1999, teenager Rocío Wanninkhof was murdered and by September of the following year Vázquez was identified as the main suspect. Equally quickly, and with a shocking lack of evidence, she was arrested, convicted and sentenced in an extremely public trial.
At the time, the case created a media frenzy and was on the front page of nearly every Spanish paper, generating incredible pressure to identify and punish the killer.
In their reckless haste, law enforcement, prosecutors and conservative members of the media targeted Dolores as much or more for her sexuality as for any likely involvement in the crime. Her perceived indifference towards the girl’s death was seen an admission of guilt by many. Matters were made worse when Rocío’s mother, Vázquez’s former partner, began to appear regularly on Spanish TV, unequivocal in her accusations of her ex’s guilt.
Three months after being found guilty, Vázquez’s innocence was proven beyond a shadow of a doubt when conclusive DNA evidence led to the conviction of Tony Alexander King, a 32-year-old sexual offender with a long criminal history. However, from her initial arrest to the time she was released, Vázquez had spent 519 days in jail for a crime she didn’t commit. She moved into exile in England and hasn’t been heard from publicly since.
Now, however, Vázquez is ready to tell her story, and will sit down in front of the camera for the first time in two decades. Unicorn and HBO Max will reconstruct the story of Rocío’s death and the subsequent legal and media circus using a mix of archival images and footage, interview with key individuals from the case and detailed fictional recreations of important events.
Miguel Salvat and Hanka Kasteliková executive produce for HBO Max with Xelo Montesinos, Víctor García Martín, Toñi Moreno executive producing for Unicorn Content. Production services for the series are also provided by Unicorn.
“For the first time in 20 years, Dolores Vázquez, Loli, speaks publicly to tell her side of the story in this much discussed case,” said Unicorn founder-CEO Montesinos. “This was one of the most serious miscarriages of justice in Spain ever, and finally the story will be told in all its details for the first time. Reality is sometimes stranger than fiction, and in this case it’s even more obvious. This is a thriller full of unexpected twists, a controversial and amazing personal story.”
Salvat added: “The Wanninkhof case kept a whole country and its media on the edge of its seat. 20 years on you will hear about it from a totally different point of view. Dolores Vázquez speaks candidly, telling her raw and painful story, with the benefit of time having passed. To those thinking this couldn’t happen today, I ask why it happened then.”
HBO Max has not announced a precise launch date yet for Spain, but will land in the country and across Europe later this year.